So, as with all Arsenal transfers, sh*t doesn’t really get real until yer man David Ornstein gives out a little titbit of information via the medium of Twitter. I think it’s something like stage four of a five stage process, to be honest with you, with the final stage just being the medical, confirm terms between all clubs, get the picture taken, show around the ground, pick a squad number and then be announced by the club.
So it’s all sounding a little bit more positive on a Friday, isn’t it? With the potential of Mustafi and Perez joining, the squad suddenly looks a little bit more augmented for the season, and hopefully we can all out this nasty business of the summer transfer window to rest.
Mustafi will be a decent young player (he’s still only 24, remember) who will hopefully improve as he gets older. Let’s not forget that we signed Koscielny at the same age and look where he is now. So I’ve pretty much ignored the comments from Balague that he’s not sure he’s good enough. Mustafi will join a team who have experienced defenders and he’ll provide much more competition.
My ultimate hope, once the transfer is done, is that Chambers can go out on loan for the season and get enough games to come back next season as an option for first choice. He’s a good player. He still has huge potential and in three years time if we have him, Mustafi and Holding as our three centre halves battling for two positions, that feels like it could be a positive position for the club to be in.
Plus, in Mustafi we will have replaced one friend of Özil (Flamini) with another, so what better way to see if he can sign a new deal than by surrounding him with his mates, eh?
Ok, perhaps that final point is a bit of a stretch, but it would be nice to see him announce his deal. Mainly because I still don’t think it will happen.
As for Perez, well, I sort of spoke about him yesterday. But I’ve also read some of the blogs from Deportivo fans, as well as a piece by the excellent Sid Lowe from earlier in the year. By all accounts, his attributes seem very similar to Jamie Vardy. Hard worker, likes to run in behind defences, will chase down loose balls, got a bit of pace. The only difference is that he’s a little younger, won’t cost as much, but equally doesn’t have the Premier League experience. Let’s hope that he’ll be able to bed in quickly enough, because if he and Alexis can strike up some kind of rapport, it could turn us in to a team that presses from the front a little quicker.
It’s long been a desire of mine to see us do that by the way. I think it gives you at least three or four extra goals a season by forcing your opponent into making unforced errors, so I like the idea that we could see two front men pushing back fours and ‘keepers to release the ball quicker and potential cede possession quicker too.
Of course I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. The players haven’t arrived yet, we don’t know whether they’ll suit our style of play, or whether their requisite skills will be quality enough to see us go one better than last season. But what’s important is that we look to finally be sorting out deals.
And isn’t it about bloody time, eh.
It’s amazing what a bit of action in the market will do, eh?
I hope this lifts everyone – when it happens – because nobody wants the malaise that we started the season with. Nobody wants to see such anger and dissent. Sure, many of us may think the sun is setting – or at least should set – on Arsène’s time at the club, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try to feel good about where the club is at.
There’s still plenty of repair work that the manager needs to do with the fans. That will only come through winning games and now we need less talking and more action. But we want to start seeing some action on the pitch and that needs to come tomorrow. His press conference is later, so we’ll probably get some more on team news, to which I’ll have a little chat about tomorrow with you.
The other big news from yesterday was our Champions League group being announced. It’s PSG, Basel and Ludogorets who we’ll face and I’ve got to say, given some of the teams we could have got, we’ve got to be happy overall with that. You’d expect us to pick up at least nine or ten points against the Pot C and D teams, so hopefully it then comes down to a shoot out between us and PSG for the top spot. It would be lovely to do the business and get top for a change though, eh? I’m bored of Barca or Bayern in the last 16.
I’m currently in negotiations with the Management to see if she fancies a trip to Switzerland, but her aversion to the cold might see my discussions fail, so I’ll keep you posted on our talks.
And aside from that, there’s not much going on! Back once again (like a renegade master) for a match preview tomorrow.